A Transport Select Committee has urged the government to make a more direct lead in supporting digital platforms for Mobility as a Service (MaaS).
This view was highlighted in the Committee’s MaaS report, which aimed to increase public awareness of the approach, show the policy makers why investment is important for this, and clarify the Department for Transport’s (DfT) significant role in shaping its development in the UK.
Already piloted in other countries, MaaS is the term used for digital platforms that people can access shared transport, with a system that integrates planning, booking and paying for travel.
The Transport Select Committee said that MPs have great potential to revolutionise how people in the UK travel, but they need to take an active lead in developing new digital platforms for planning journeys, therefore guaranteeing the widest benefits.
It is seen as a key component in working neatly alongside key government policy such as the Clean Air Strategy, promotion of electric and autonomous vehicles, Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy – all of which is part of the Industrial Strategy.
By committing to MaaS, the government can achieve its aims of reducing emissions, improving the environment and ensuring greater safety on the roads.
What is crucial, however, is that schemes do not develop in an uncontrolled way, as this could have “unintended negative consequences.”
Lilian Greenwood, Chair of the Committee, believes MaaS must feature in DfT plans.
She said: “It’s essential that government has the bigger picture on developing schemes and the maximum potential is achieved.
“Possible benefits such as cutting congestion on our roads and cleaner air fit in with many of the government’s current objectives, including proposals to promote cycling and walking.
“The Committee believes MaaS should now feature more prominently in the DfT’s future plans. This can be done by supporting and funding a variety of MaaS projects.”